Direct Line Blog

The end of SWAG?

Share this article:
The first of year will ring in with a voluntary moratorium on pharmaceutical companies free branded giveaways to doctors. The decision is wisely trendy in light of rising healthcare costs and continued scrutiny of large drug manufacturers, corporate cost-cutting, consumer pleas for more transparent marketing and an eco-conscious eschewing of all things clutter. Whether or not this pharma swag actually swayed doctors unfairly is up for debate.

But is pharma the only group that will adopt these stringent self-imposed bans on the branded giveaway? Other sectors sensitive to branded giveaways (education comes to mind) can benefit greatly from the odd handout. Underfunded classrooms or community sports teams in some cases rely on discounts or free gifts from Scholastic, Nike or other supply stores looking to improve their community and community image.

That being said, as an editor who gets lot of branded gift bags and promotional swag (most of my office pens and mugs are branded) -- I've seen my share of what could be deemed as corporate waste. One embarrassing example I can think of was how much media attention Lehman Bros. swag received after the bankruptcy. In the light of economic failure, the amount of branded trinkets got a critical eye from the public (and plenty of bids on eBay)

I think the bottom line when ordering your company's next set of stress ball giveaways or considering the postage on sending branded coffee cozees to your top 150 clients is, is there a true marketing purpose and cleverness to the swag? Are your plans for it in any way measurable or justifiable to a CFO?
Share this article:
close

Next Article in Direct Line Blog

Sign up to our newsletters

Latest Jobs:


Company of the week

Data Services, Inc. meets the needs of today's data-driven marketer by providing front-end database management and data analytics platforms alongside our expertise in global contact data quality, database building and ongoing maintenance that comes with our 45+ years in business.


Find out more here »

More in Direct Line Blog

My Plan to Replace the Postal Service's Truck Fleet

My Plan to Replace the Postal Service's Truck ...

The Postal Service uses its aging fleet as an object of pity. Why not deploy it as a revenue-generating media vehicle instead?

Social Is a Key Part of 24 Hour Fitness' Lead Gen. Regimen

Social Is a Key Part of 24 Hour ...

Peer-to-peer referrals produce healthy conversion rates.

Not Every Small Business Prioritizes Marketing

Not Every Small Business Prioritizes Marketing

Whether or not it's to their detriment, some companies simply aren't interested in marketing, and probably never will be.